2nd Indo-Pak bus service to start on June 20 | india | Hindustan Times
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2nd Indo-Pak bus service to start on June 20

Gandhi will address a public rally in the district before the function, after which she will watch cultural programmes.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2006 17:03 IST

The second bus service between the two parts of Kashmir will commence from Poonch on Tuesday amidst tight security to boost people-to-people contacts as part of the peace process between India and Pakistan.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and a host of other state leaders are scheduled to attend the flagging off ceremony for the Poonch-Rawalkote bus service at Chakan-da-Bagh in Poonch.

Gandhi will address a public rally in the district before the function, after which she will watch cultural programmes organised by the state government and local artistes, officials said in Poonch on Sunday.

She is expected to see off the first batch of 30 passengers leaving from Poonch for Rawalkote in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and receive the same number of people from across the border, they said.

Fifteen residents of PoK who had crossed via "foot points" like Mendhar and Poonch will leave on the bus on June 20, while 30 residents of Poonch will come back from PoK.

This will be the second bus service between Jammu and Kashmir and PoK, with the first being the one linking Srinagar and Muzaffarabad that was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on April seven last year.

Initially scheduled to be launched on June 19, the bus service was postponed by a day to tie up some "loose ends" on both sides of the border, the officials said.

Gandhi will arrive in Poonch from New Delhi on Tuesday morning and return to New Delhi the same day.